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Common Fence Music will present Joel Mabus, legendary Mid-Western songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, in an online concert on Sunday, November 8 at 7 p.m. The event is free, and all tips go to the artists. A link to the online concert will be provided at commonfencemusic.org prior to show time.

Joel Mabus was born in 1953 to a family of old-time country music performers in Southern Illinois. He is a longtime fixture in the American folk music scene firmly rooted in the Midwestern old-time music community.  He’s a songwriter with roots deep in tradition, and a risk-taking multi-instrumentalist with a well-travelled voice. His father was a champion fiddler, his mom a singer and banjo and accordion player. Joel started on the family mandolin at age 9 and played bluegrass with his older brother. He learned his gospel by singing in a store-front Pentecostal church. Then came the guitar, banjo and fiddle.  

Joel has traveled the country playing and teaching at folk societies, festivals, art houses, and dances, He has been a long time sideman to folk icon, Tom Paxton. And he has played on stage with many of his heroes including Doc Watson, Dave Van Ronk, Norman Blake and Peggy Seeger.

Beginning a recording career in 1978, Joel has 27 solo albums to his credit.  His latest album is Time & Truth (2019). He is also the author of Parlor Guitar, a book on fingerstyle guitar,  as well as many articles on the business of folk music for Folk Alliance International. Joel was also a frequent guest performer on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion.

This concert is sponsored in part by a generous grant from the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts.  


Common Fence Music is a Rhode Island-based 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization whose mission it is to celebrate and preserve diverse folk music traditions by creating community-based opportunities for cultural exchange.

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